The Linguistics Department at KU offers a full range of degrees: B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. The first linguistics courses at KU were offered in 1957. In 1968, Linguistics became a department and was authorized to offer a Ph.D. degree. Today, the unique strength of the Linguistics department is the systematic pairing of theoretical and experimental investigations of linguistic knowledge. Its nucleus of full-time faculty members in Linguistics, plus several actively involved faculty members in other departments, serves a student body of about 35 graduate students, 80 undergraduate majors, and many non-majors taking introductory and intermediate courses each semester.

Areas of special strength in the graduate program include Phonetics, Phonology, Syntax, First and Second Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics, Semantics, and Indigenous Languages. The department also cooperates with other departments, such as Speech-Language-Hearing, Child Language, Indigenous Nations Studies, Anthropology, Education, and Psychology.

Student Awards 2021


  • Distinguished Senior Major - Amber Mikkelsen, Katharine Patz
  • Distinguished Junior Major - Malena Schoeni, Beth Sharp

Student Awards 2020


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Senior Major - Jessica Grinage
  • Distinguished Undergraduate Senior Major - Anna Holmes, Pearl Nelson-Greene, Matthew Reinhold, Emily Simmons, Elizabeth Zollner
  • Distinguished Undergraduate Senior Minor - Hally Richlefs, Nathan Shapiro
  • Distinguished Undergraduate Junior Major - Diego Acosta, Marilyn Curtis, Ben Gotto, Amber Mikkelsen, Chloe Noteboom, Katherine Patz, Savannah Price
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student Service - Amber Washington


  • Excellence in the M.A. Program in Linguistics - Nathan Schellenberg
  • Early Career Excellence in Linguistics - Sheyenne Fishero, Hyoju Kim
  • Outstanding Achievement in Linguistics - Tingting Wang, Yuyu (Rustle) Zeng


  • Achievement Award M.A. - Sheyenne Fishero, Hyoju Kim
  • Achievement Award Ph.D.- Tingting Wang


  • Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant - Aron Finholt, Sheyenne Fishero
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Service - Ruoqian (Lucy) Cheng, Shuxiao (Donald) Gong

Linguistics Colloquy Schedule

Spring 2022

In-person talks located at Mallot 2049
ZOOM information will be sent with talk invitation
All talks schedule at 4:00pm

January 27: Carol Rose Little (University of Oklahoma) - In person

February 10: Professional development roundtable - Virtual

February 24: Tania Ionin (UIUC) - Virtual

March 10: Meghan Davidson (KU) - In person

April 1 (Fri): Ingemann lecture, Edith Kaan (University of Florida) - In person - Mallot 2001 - 3:00-5:00pm

April 7: Peter Jenks (Berkeley) - Virtual

April 14: Professional development roundtable - Virtual

May 5: Undergrad honors presentations - In person

Faculty & Graduate Student Publications  

(Abstracts & Publication Links)


  • Chien, Y-F., Yang, X, Fiorentino, R., & Sereno, J.A. (2020). The role of the surface and underlying forms when processing tonal alternations in Mandarin Chinese: A mismatch negativity study. Frontiers in Psychology: Language Sciences, 11, #646, 1-17.
  • Cho, S., Jongman, A., Wang, Y., & Sereno, J.A. (2020). Multi-modal cross-linguistic perception of fricatives in clear speech. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 147(4), 2609-2624. 
  • Dmitrieva, O., Jongman, A., & Sereno, J.A. (2020). The effect of instructed second language learning on the acoustic properties of first language speech. Languages, 5(4), 44-77. 
  • Duncan, P.T. & Torrence, H. (2020). Headless relatives in Meꞌphaa from Iliatenco. In I. Caponigro, H. Torrence, & R. Zavala, (eds.), Headless Relative Clauses in Mesoamerican Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Feroce, N., Fiorentino, R., Covey, L., and Gabriele, A. (2020). Neural evidence for the processing of referential ambiguity and referential failure in Spanish. In D. Pascual y Cabo & I. Elola (eds.), Current Theoretical and Applied Perspectives on Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 153-174. John Benjamins.
  • Fiorentino, R. (2020). “Brain imaging online” KU CTE Special Issue: Engaging Ideas for Flexible Teaching
  • Gabriele, A. (2020). Microvariation and transfer in L2 and L3 Acquisition. (Commentary on Westergaard, 2019 keynote article). Second Language Research, 1-5. 
  • Garg, S., Hamarneh, G., Jongman, A., Sereno, J.A., & Wang, Y. (2020). ADFAC: Automatic detection of facial articulatory features. MethodsX, 7, 101006, 1-12.  
  • Jongman, A. and Sereno, J.A. (2020). Obituary: Wendy Herd (1973-2020). Acoustics Today. Winter, 16(4), 93.
  • Jongman, A., & Tremblay, A. (2020). Word prosody in L2. In C. Gussenhoven & A. Chen (eds.), The Oxford handbook of language prosody (pp. 594–604). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • McKenzie, A. and Punske, J. (2020). Language development during interstellar travel. Acta Futura: Journal of the Advance Concepts Team, European Space Agency 12: 123-132. 
  • Pham. C., Covey, L., Gabriele, A., Aldosari, S., and Fiorentino, R. (2020). Examining individual differences and island sensitivity. Glossa: a Journal of General Linguistics 5(1), 94. 
  • Redmon, C., Leung, K., Wang, Y., McMurray, B., Jongman, A., & Sereno, J.A. (2020). Cross-linguistic perception of clearly spoken English tense and lax vowels based on auditory, visual, and auditory-visual information. Journal of Phonetics, 81. 
  • Reetz, H., & Jongman, A. (2020). Phonetics: Transcription, Production, Acoustics, and Perception. (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell Publishers (316 pages). [The Chinese translation of this book was published in March 2019].
  • Tang, W. and Zhang, J. (2020). The effects of era and perceptual distinctiveness on Japanese loanword adaptation. In Shoichi Iwasaki, Susan Strauss, Shin Fukuda, Sun-Ah Jun, Sung-Ock Sohn, and Kie Zuraw (eds.), Japanese/Korean Linguistics, vol. 26. CSLI, Stanford University, CA.
  • Tupper, P., Leung, K., Wang, Y., Jongman, A., & Sereno, J.A. (2020). Characterizing the distinctive acoustic cues of Mandarin tones. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 147, 2570-2580.
  • Wang, Y., Sereno, J.A., & Jongman, A. (2020). Multi-modal perception of tone. In H-M. Liu, F-M. Tsao, and P. Li (Eds.), Speech Perception, Production, and Acquisition: Multidisciplinary Approaches in Chinese Languages. Springer series on Chinese Language Learning Sciences, Ch.8 (159-173). 
  • Yan, H., Chien, Y-F., & Zhang, J. (2020). Priming the representation left-dominant sandhi words: a Shanghai dialect case study. Language and Speech, 63(2), 362-380.
  • Yates, Y. & Gluckman, J. (2020). Voice Reversals and Syntactic Structure: Evidence from Hittite. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 5(1): 120. 1-39. 
  • Zhang, J., San D., & Chen Y. (2020). Chinese and Siberia. In Carlos Gussenhoven and Aoju Chen (eds.), The Oxford handbook of language prosody, 332-343. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

More Publications, Abstracts & Website Links


Graduate Student Presentations


Finholt, A. & Gluckman, J. (2021, June). Reason and result in Kinyamulenge. TripleA 8, National University of Singapore, (Virtual).

Finholt, A. (2021, May). A new perspective on the Swahili dual-complementizer system. 37th Annual Northwest Conference of Linguistics (NWCL), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Finholt, A. & Gluckman, J. (2021, March). A corpus study of Swahili’s dual-complementizer system. Annual Conference of African Linguistics (ACAL 51/52), University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Nobuki, A. & Minai, U. (2021, April). Pragmatic Felicity of Negation in Japanese. Presentation, SRCD 2021 Biennial Meeting, (Virtual).

Özturhan, M. & Deniz, N. D. (2021 June). The use of structural and non-structural information in L2 processing of reflexives. Poster presentation, 3rd International Symposium on Bilingual and L2 Processing in Adults and Children (ISBPAC), Nijmegen, the Netherlands, (Virtual).

Wang, T., Feroce, N., Briseno, J., Coughlin, C., & Minai, U. (2021). Seeking the sources of children's comprehension errors involving the universal quantifier every. 9th Bi-annual conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition ‒ North America (GALANA 2021), (Virtual).

Yang, T-H., Chang, Y-C., Hsieh, F-F. (2021, January). Perceptually inconspicuous yet articulatorily distinct merger: A case study of Taiwanese Mandarin coda nasals. Poster presentation, 95th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), (Virtual).


More Graduate Student Presentations


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